Category Archives: personal

2014 Year in Review

This year has been a truly great and succcesful year for our family and business. We captured well over 100 different shoots, weddings and events and still have one more wedding left to capture before we ring in 2015! Also coming up, are some pretty fabulous fall wedding videos debuting the blog soon, I can’t wait to share them with you. Yep, it’s been a busy year and very fulfilling. We want to say thank you to all of our clients who have trusted us to capture their special once in a lifetime moments. You mean the world to us! In previous years, I usually just posted our annual Christmas card but as this year comes to an end, I want to share with you some of my favorite moments from this past year. All of these shots were captured by myself – Amanda. It took me a long time to narrow these down. Enjoy!

Cheers to an amazing 2015! XOXO Mike and Amanda Howard

These are my favorite putting on the dress shots! 

The Pancreatic Cancer Research walk in March was inspiring to capture! There were only a few survivors in attendance since the death rate is very high with this particular cancer. 

I do love a tender moment between siblings. 

A newborn blessing ceremony (above)

Janelle & Jason opted not to do a first look, but instead took a few moments to chat between a door before saying their I do’s. Jason was bursting with excitement and Janelle full of emotion as her eyes filled with tears.
One of my new favorite newborn images above. 

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How to make an apple pie

The last few weeks have been jam packed busy for everyone in our house. I recently took a little time before heading out to a wedding to do something with Nathan that he has been wanting to do for quite awhile. He really wanted to teach me how to make an apple pie. At his school, he has cooking once a week and just over a month ago he learned how to make an apple pie. Ever since then he has been telling me, almost on a daily basis, how much he wanted to teach me. I’m not a big dessert cook and have never made one myself. He had some help on slicing the apples, but he did the rest of the cooking himself. I made sure grab the camera and snap some shots as he went through the process.
What was Nolan doing during this time? Being a good little nerd and doing his homework of course 🙂 Thanksgiving is nearly upon us and we will be home cooking and out shooting on the weekend. We hope you have a fun filled holiday weekend and enjoy spending time with those closest to you. 

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The calm before the storm

This week my two boys had fall break from school so we headed over to Vertuccio Farms near our house for their fall festival. I’ve been editing like a crazy lady for the last couple of weeks and getting ready for the fall wedding season that is almost upon us! I haven’t shared much on the home front for awhile; mainly we’ve been busy with everyone’s day to day schedules. This week I really tried to slow things down a bit, so the boys could get a breather and finally spend some time outside somewhere other than in a swimming pool! For those of you that live in Phoenix, you know that we are now coming out of hibernation. Congrats, we survived another summer! Nolan showing me how big his pumpkin will be.

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Summer Adventure

This summer was a busy one for our family. We made lots of memories and I think this was the best summer yet. We were fortunate enough to book some out-of-state events, so we packed up the whole family and hit the road, escaping the scorching Arizona heat. This was the longest trip the kids had been gone from home and they did awesome! Our first stop was a short one in Flagstaff where we got to see some family and attend my sister Leah’s baby shower. We then traveled on to Durango Colorado and stayed at the Durango Mountain Resort at the base of Purgatory Ski Mountain.

We enjoyed a lot of activities at the resort including the Alpine slide. It’s about a 10 minute ride to the top of the mountain and a very fast two minute ride back down! We did this multiple times and the kids really loved it. I didn’t realize how much the boys would love gold mining until after the fact. Nolan, who loves superheros, is convinced the fools gold is Kryptonite and it takes away Superman’s powers. Nathan has ziplined several times before and he really enjoyed the zipline at the resort. In the afternoons it often rained, so we stayed inside or hung out on the deck. I really loved our location at the resort. We had an end unit which gave us two decks. The master bedroom deck overlooked the resort and the alpine slide ran right next to the main deck. We saw a fox and lots of muskrats right next to the slide while hanging out on the main deck.

On another day we drove north of the resort and into the San Juan Mountains towards Silverton Colorado. It’s a small historical town that used to be a mining camp. There were lots of beautiful streams, waterfalls and lakes along the road. We stopped several times to get a closer look and grab a few shots.
Silverton Colorado above from the main roadLooking like tough cowboys!

On another day we went river rafting on the Animas River. This was the highlight of the trip for my youngest son Nolan. Absolutely no fear and such a thrill seeker! He sat in the front of the raft next to a young man who was traveling through town on his way home after having served our country in Afghanistan.

After rafting, we visited downtown Durango where the kids enjoyed the train museum and we had lunch at Steamworks Brewing Company. 

When my little Nolan needed a nap, Nathan and I enjoyed exploring the forest around the resort. This was probably the highlight of the trip for him. I made sure to bring my camera on one of our walks. On one of our last days in Colorado, we stopped at Honeyville for some treats. I’m not a landscape photographer and wished I could have better captured our surroundings on this trip. It’s breath taking in person and everywhere we went was so beautiful.
When it was time to leave Colorado, we headed a few hours south to Albuquerque New Mexico to capture a wedding. My dad lives in Albuquerque so we got to spend a couple days with him before the wedding. One day we visited Explora, a hands on Children’s Science Museum.

If you made it this far, thanks for looking and reading! While we usually document our travels with home videos, we decided to capture this one with photos. To see a quick one song highlight video from our California trip earlier this summer click here.  Here is a quick look at the 4th of July at home right before we left Arizona. Every year we forget how sensitive Nathan is to the loud fireworks. Funny how he’s afraid of fireworks but will ride a zipline all day. Nolan on the other hand, couldn’t contain his excitement!

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Summer Time

I know I rarely post anything personal and am trying to do a better job sharing whats going on in our day to day lives. It’s my goal to post at least once a month, so hopefully I’ll stick to it. So far this year, it’s been wonderful to be busy shooting every week. Once spring portraits and weddings wrapped up, the kiddos finished school so we headed over to California for a little R & R and got to spend some time with Mike’s family in the bay area. It was nice to leave the cameras behind and enjoy a change of scenery. Our boys loved surfing, riding roller coasters and playing with their grandpa (papa). Now that we’re back, it’s time to gear up for summer. I’m really excited about what’s coming up. We’ll be hitting the road and shooting in northern Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico, just to name a few! The blog may look a little neglected for awhile, but I’ll do my best to share the latest and greatest on Facebook.
I captured this on my iPhone right before they jumped into the ocean at Santa Cruz Beach. I love that they are holding hands!

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